Small animal masters compete with Lydia Hofmann winning title at fair

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 July 2023 at 9:48 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – The top showmen in four different small animals – dogs, rabbits, chickens and miniature horses – vied today for the grand master showman. Lydia Hofmann of Albion, left, won the title with Audrey Pask of Barre the reserve grand master.

A year ago Pask won the title with Hofmann as the reserve.

Hofmann said she tried hard to win the title this time, her last year in 4-H. She saw miniature horses as her weak spot and she pushed to learn more about them, asking many questions to other 4-H’ers who work with them.

“It was definitely my goal, even though it was a lofty goal,” Hofmann said about winning the grand master for small animals.

The competition featured the top showman and reserve from the four different animals.

Lydia Hofmann shows Hugh, an English Springer Spaniel. Sandy Sucy is the judge.

Hofmann has been showing dogs in 4-h for eight years. She travelled to Switzerland to show dogs in 2019.

Hofmann has been home-schooled and earned a degree at Genesee Community College. She is certified as a vet tech.

“This is a great way to end my 4-H career,” she said after today’s grand master showmen competition. “Now I’m ready to start adult life.”

The small animal grand master showmen participants include front, from left: Celes Paratore, 15, of Corfu (representing poultry); Meganne Moore, 17, of Albion (representing miniature horses); Audrey Pask, 18, of Barre (representing poultry); Amber Kiefer, 19, of Lyndonville (representing dogs); Lydia Hofmann, 19, of Albion (representing dogs); Evelyn Paratore, 11, of Corfu (representing rabbits); Haylee Wright, 12, of Lyndonville (representing rabbits) and Grace Goodrich, 14, of Medina (representing miniature horses).

Audrey Pask answers questions about a bantam rooster to Dawn Marciszewski, the poultry judge.

Pask competed in the large animal grand master competition on Friday and won that title. She said the smaller animal competition was less physically grueling but required more specific knowledge about the animals.

The master showmen needed to do a quick health check on the animals, note the ideal height and weight for each and note anything that could be considered a fault. For example, the bantam roosters shouldn’t have any white feathers.

Meganne Moore of Albion answers questions from judge Sandy Sucy about the English Springer Spaniel. Today’s competition occurred while there was a massive downpour outside.

Evelyn Paratore of Corfu shows a bantam rooster as part of the poultry component of today’s small animal grand master showman event.

Celes Paratore, Evelyn’s older sister, shows a miniature horse in front of judge Nicole Dabney. The eight showmen needed to set up the horse, walk it halfway in the show arena, lead it in a 360-degree pattern, then set up the miniature horse again for a final inspection from the judge.

Haylee Wright of Lyndonville shows a rabbit during the grand master competition. She qualified after finishing as a the reserve master showman for rabbits. Haylee also shows poultry and rides horses at the fair. She was worried about showing the dog today but it wasn’t too bad.

“I survived,” she said. “It was quite the fun experience but it was nerve-wracking.”

Grace Goodrich of Medina runs while showing Hugh, the English Springer Spaniel in today’s competition.

Amber Kiefer of Lyndonville shows a rabbit and answers questions from the judge. The competition today lasted more than two hours.